Power and Glory — Volume 2: 1952-1973

by William Court. 319pp. 11 1/4″ x 9 3/4″ Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 2RQ. £55.00

The long awaited second volume of William Court’s Power And Glory, his in-depth History of Grand Prix Motor Racing, has now been published by Patrick Stephens Ltd.

It follows the previous William Court style, with erudite observations on the drivers and the cars, by this enthusiastic, conscientious, and observant lawyer who was inspired to chronicle events in motor racing by the works of Laurence Pomeroy.

The book is an enormous contribution to a field very nearly exhausted, until Court brings fresh light to illuminate it. He offers his students, as before, quotations from literature far removed from the world of roaring cars, but also from every conceivable source, including MOTOR SPORT, and devotes a 3 1/2 page Epilogue to explaining his methods, and his views about the book, to which Eoin Young contributes an enthusiastic and understanding Foreword. The second volume takes Court’s view of GP history from 1952 to 1973 and a third volume is promised, to run it to the present, as far, that is, as any work of this sort can ever terminate. At first I thought that, from the chapter headings, the previous format had been abandoned, but I then realised, although these headings emphasize the parts played so prominently by Ascari, Fangio, Moss, Clark and Stewart, that the book continues to cover events race by race, in Court’s own inimitable way. The scope is indicated when I say that 214 racing drivers figure in his book.

Because it is concerned with F1, the usual championship tables are included. Court enlarges on his canvas with views on how the past affects a later period, remembers those who gave their lives for motor racing, and in other ways makes this a “different” history. The book is beautifully produced, is crammed with marvellous pictures, many of which with their captions, are again “different”, and circuit maps and tabulated race results form a part of it. Avid enthusiasts will find it unique, a great tribute to the greatest of all sports. WB